The biggest news of the week is perhaps that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) postponed making a decision on approval of a Bitcoin (BTC) and US Treasury bond exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal filed by Wilshire Phoenix. The SEC announced Friday that it will continue evaluating the ETF proposal, which was first filed earlier this summer, delaying until February 26, 2020 its next decision date to approve or reject the application. The Wilshire ETF features a volatility protection mechanism to automatically rebalance and decrease its BTC exposure and boost its exposure to Treasury bills. The securities regulator has not been keen to approve any Bitcoin ETFs, rejecting more than a dozen in the last 2 years. It is unclear whether the SEC will approve any Bitcoin ETF in the near future, adding to market uncertainty.

Here is the rest of week in review:

German stock exchange owner Boerse Stuttgart Group and Japanese financial giant SBI Group (SBHGF  ) announced they are partnering on a joint initiative to expand their digital assets businesses globally. On Friday the two firms revealed in a press release they will establish a partnership in Europe, Japan, and Asia, with the ultimate aim of developing "a truly global end-to-end ecosystem for digital assets, utilizing blockchain technology." Through the deal, SBI will take a stake in the stock exchange's regulated digital assets trading platform, Boerse Stuttgart Digital Exchange. SBI will also consider a plan to invest in Boerse Stuttgart Digital Ventures, another subsidiary that invests in innovative fintech startups. SBI entered the digital assets space in 2016 and has launched projects such as a payments app partnered with Ripple Labs and a Japanese crypto trading platform called VC Trade.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for the Muslim world to create its own cryptocurrency to reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar (USD) and fight American economic hegemony, according to an AP report. Rouhani said at the Kuala Lumpur Summit in Malaysia on Thursday: "The Muslim world should be designing measures to save themselves from the domination of the United States dollar and the American financial regime." The Iranian government has been trying to boost the use of coins like Bitcoin in order to evade US sanctions, and cryptocurrency investments are becoming increasingly popular among the Iranian people. At the summit, Rouhani also urged Muslim countries to establish a system to encourage commerce in local currencies as well as preferential trade policies to strengthen international ties.

Crypto prices rose slightly to nearly $197 billion this week. For the majors, Bitcoin and Tether (USDT) posted modest gains, while Tezos (XTZ), Ripple (XRP), and Ethereum (ETH) saw large losses. In the top 100, the biggest losers were MaidSafeCoin (MAID), down 25%, EDUCare (EKT), down 22%, and Decred (DCR), down 15%. The top gainers were Silverway (SLV), up 44%, Aidos Kuneen (ADK), up 42%, and HedgeTrade (HEDG), up 38%. Next week traders will again see if crypto can regain the $200 billion level.

The author owns a small amount of BTC.